Morley Academy issues statement after hate attack on young Sikh boy at bus stop

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The principal of The Morley Academy has issued a lengthy statement after footage emerged on social media of a young Sikh boy being attacked at a bus stop.

The footage, posted on Friday, shows a boy wearing a turban being repeatedly punched, forcing him into the road.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed that the incident, which happened in November, was recorded as a hate crime.

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Both pupils in the footage are pupils at The Morley Academy, but the altercation took place several miles away from the school building.

Footage of the attack was posted on social media.Footage of the attack was posted on social media.
Footage of the attack was posted on social media.

On Monday, The Morley Academy's Principal, Adam Ryder, issued a statement which said the school had taken the incident "extremely seriously", while warning that social media comments could "antagonise" the situation.

West Yorkshire Police have also praised the school's handling of the incident.

In a letter to parents, Mr Ryder said: "I want to take this opportunity to reassure parents and carers, as well as other members of our community, that the academy has taken this incident extremely seriously and have been working closely with the families of the students involved as well as West Yorkshire Police and the Leeds Safeguarding Team.

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"When the incident was brought to the attention of the academy, we worked closely with the families and supported them with reporting the incident to the Police. Since then, we have fully cooperated and supported the Police with their investigation.

"In addition to this, those involved in the incident whose behaviour was wholly and totally unacceptable, have been appropriately sanctioned in line with our Positive Discipline policy.

"As I am sure you can appreciate, we are not able to comment, or share, the specifics of a Police investigation. Furthermore, we are unable to discuss or comment further about this incident with those who are not registered family members of the students involved."

Mr Ryder also said he had made West Yorkshire Police's Safeguarding Team aware that the footage had been posted on social media.

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The Principal shared a written message from the force, which said: "We are absolutely satisfied that every incident reported within school has been investigated thoroughly and we hold the safeguarding workers in very high regard.

"Every incident has been recorded and sanctions put in place when required.

"We are also satisfied that any incident within the school is dealt with correctly, the safeguarding team at the school are excellent and work very hard for every child.

"Staff have also put in place various safeguarding measures to support the students and families."

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Mr Ryder continued: "At this time, I would politely ask for the support of all parents, students and other members of the community by not commenting on, or sharing, social media posts related to this incident.

"This is because you will not be aware of the full details of the incident or the subsequent Police investigation which has taken place.

"Although some may believe that they are raising fair and valid points over social media, there also needs to be an understanding that these comments might actually have an adverse effect and could serve to antagonise a situation which has been dealt with, and handled by, the Police."